Thursday, May 14, 2009

Atsui, Samui, Daijo Bu: Capsule Edition

Seeing as how Hound Dog got his latest Hot 20 out in what has to be a very stressful week for him and his family, the least I could do was put out my own list of the hottest, coldest, and all-rightest in the world of women's golf.


1. Cristie Kerr: Two weeks ago, I asked, "But when's she going to get another win?" Well, she answered that question pretty quickly. Make that 2 wins, 2 runner-ups, 5 top 10s in a row, 15 overall, and 23 top 20s in her last 25 events. That's quite a year!

2. Lorena Ochoa: She could have salted away her #1 spot from the last time I included LPGA golfers on this list with her 4th win in 13 events and 2nd in a row, but she came back to the field fast last weekend.

3. Angela Stanford: A quiet, steady top 10 last week gives her 3 wins and no finish worse than 15th in her last 12 events, but to get back to the top of this list, she's going to have to do better.

4. Hee Kyung Seo: Move over, Ji-Yai! Even though last week Sun Ju Ahn stopped her bid for her 3rd straight win on the KLPGA this season, she's still got a KLPGA major and 7 other victories on tour from the 2nd half of 2008 on!

5. Sakura Yokomine: Let's see. She's got a 22-event JLPGA top-20 streak going, with 2 wins, 10 top 5s, and 18 top 10s in that run. The last 5 weeks, she's finished 1-2-3-2-6. Good enough for me to displace Shin.

Honorable Mention

Ji-Yai Shin: A great final round--the best of the field on a tough Sunday set-up--salvaged what was otherwise a disappointing week, but less so than those behind her on the list.

Ji-Hee Lee: She's only finished in the top 10 in 11 of her last 13 JLPGA events, including 2 wins, a runner-up, and 8 top 5s. The single blemish in that run, a T31, is her only finish outside the top 20 since her missed cut in the opening event of 2008. That's the longest run of great play in the world of women's golf. And with her top 5 last week in the JLPGA's 1st major of 2009, don't look for it to come to an end any time soon.

Mi-Jeong Jeon: Another runner-up last week for the heartbreak queen of the JLPGA.

Ya Ni Tseng: Somehow managed a top 20 at Kingsmill last week despite playing 3 indifferent rounds of golf on a vulnerable course.

Suzann Pettersen: Instead of a win, all her great streaks came crashing to a close last week: say good-bye to the 5 top 20s in a row, 4 top 10s, and 3 top 5s. But say hello to a new streak this week?

Karrie Webb: Well, her top-20 streak ended at 6 last week, just as her top-10 streak ended at 3 a couple of weeks before.


1. Julieta Granada: Started a new MC streak last week. Her best finish of the year is still a T53....

2. Louise Friberg: Sorry to do this to a newlywed, but notching her 6th missed cut in 8 official starts on the LPGA in '09 (this time by a stroke) last week is not the recipe to kill the "sophomore jinx."

3. Minea Blomqvist: Her T28 tied her best finish of the year (they're her only 2 inside the top 50 in '09), but she squandered an opening 66 to do it.

4. Shanshan Feng: Got her 1st top 20 of the year on the number last week--start of a virtuous cycle?

5. Shiho Oyama: A great top 10 for a rookie struggling with tendonitis in both elbows almost gets her off the cold list!

Dishonorable Mention

Stacy Prammanasudh: Now riding a 3-event missed-cut streak.

Inbee Park: Got her 2nd MC of the season last week.

Candie Kung: Missed her 2nd cut in her last 3 events last week.

Daijo Bu

1. Paula Creamer: Let's give her credit for a gutsy 65 last Sunday that almost freed her from the burden of the "Best Player Never to Have Won a JLPGA Major" label.

2. Na Yeon Choi: Followed up a great week at Tres Marias with a T15 at Kingsmill. Not bad.

3. Song-Hee Kim: When she's good, she's very very good--3 top 6s in 7 events is nothing to sneeze at--so look for her to keep on contending this season fairly regularly.

4. Ai Miyazato: Unexpected top 10 last week gives me hope for more good things to come in the coming weeks from Ai-chan!

5. Lindsey Wright: Except for a bad start to the season in Hawaii, she's played great since then, improving on her previous week's finish in every week but the 3rd of the season. Given that her last two have been a 4th and a T3 and she was in contention in both, that means....

Honorable Mention

Yuri Fudoh: Only got a T11 in the JLPGA's 1st major, but she's playing more consistently in '09 than she did in the early going last season, so watch ut for her to win any time soon on the JLPGA.

Chie Arimura: Got off to a terrible start in '09, but followed up her win two weeks ago with a T11 last week.

Brittany Lang: Unexpectedly weak showing at the Michelob Ultra makes me wonder if she can take advantage of a course she likes this week.

Katherine Hull: Nothing from last week makes me change my judgment from the last time I wrote about her: "Too many bad holes taking away her momentum lately. But could put herself in contention any given week."

Jee Young Lee: Last time, I wrote that "I'm not too worried" about her missing only her 2nd top 20 in her last 12 events, given her 7 top 10s and 3 top 5s in that stretch, but with her MC last week on a course she's owned in the past, I'm officially worried.

Bo-Bae Song: Missed the top 10 for the 3rd time in a row last week on the JLPGA, but hasn't finished worse than 16th all season.

Yuko Mitsuka: Last season ended well for her on the JLPGA, with 3 straight top-5 finishes and 5 straight top 20s. She already has a win and 2 other top-5 finishes this season, plus she's coming off a T7 2 weeks ago and a top 15 in the JLPGA's 1st major.

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